Award winning outback romance

Bookings are now open for my three 2020 residential writing retreats, co-tutored with RNA Chair Alison May. Details can be found here.

Music

Log Cabins and Railway Carriages

The cabin was built about 1860 and was set in the woods near the top of a ridge.

The cabin was built about 1860 and was set in the woods near the top of a ridge.

 

It is amazing where music will lead you.  In this case – to a shotgun shack in the Appalachian Mountains and an art deco railway carriage in Chattanooga.

Recently we went to a gig by US folk artist Diana Jones.  She sings songs of Appalachia. Mine disasters, murders – cheerful stuff. She’s very good – and talked about recording her latest album in a shotgun shack at the Museum of Appalachia.

As we were due back in the US of A for a wedding – this was too good an opportunity to miss. So we headed south into the Tennessee Hills.

Webmaster John gets megapoints for booking us into a cabin on a ridge.

There was no wi fi, and barely anything resembling mobile phone service. It was like stepping back into another era. Continue reading

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Recipe for an English Folk Festival

The festival begins

It’s August – so webmaster John and I have been settling down in fields with a few thousand close friends for that most English of events – folk festivals.

I’d never been to such an event before coming to England – and despite my impressive attendance record at such events during the past few years, I am still sometimes surprised – after all, who would have expected the guillotine…

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A master class in story-telling.

Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly - master story-teller

In a small bar in lower Manhattan last night, an Australian singer-songwriter showed me just what great story telling is all about.

Paul Kelly has written a lot of songs in the past 30 years – and over two nights he’s playing a slection of them …. in alphabetical order.

He made me cry three times (or was it four) – and he only got as far as L.

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Camping by the river with Pete

The Hudson River at sunset

The Hudson River at sunset

I’ve just returned from the most fabulous weekend – camping on the banks of the magnificent Hudson River – and singing along with one of my heroes  – the amazing Pete Seeger.

Most people know Pete as a great folk singer. As a child at school, I had folk singing classes – and learned If I Had a Hammer , Turn Turn Turn and Where have All the Flowers Gone?

At the time I didn’t understand their significance as protest songs – that came later. I never thought I’d get to sing them along with Pete.

Last weekend I did just that, along with 15,000 other people at the great Hudson River revival – a music festival like none I’ve even been to before. Continue reading

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Writing retreats 2020 - Intensive tutor-led retreats with Janet Gover and Alison May

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild OneColorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild One
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